2018 Chevrolet Spark

2018 Chevrolet Spark Review

The Spark shows that subcompacts can successfully combine practicality with modern technology.
author
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Subcompacts appeal to the practical and budget-conscience. They're inexpensive, frugal and, most important for city dwellers, easy to park. The 2018 Chevrolet Spark has all those traits but also adds a healthy list of standard and optional features to the mix.

Even in its most basic LS trim, the Spark comes with modern conveniences that rival those on bigger and more expensive cars. A fold-down rear bench seat increases functionality, as does its standard smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It's also nimble around turns yet comfortable enough for longer trips.

But to be frugal, efficient and small means some aspects must be compromised. For the Spark, that's in its acceleration — which is slow even for this class of car — and total usable cargo space. There's very little room behind the rear seats. And while the rear seats are comfortable, taller adults may brush their heads up against the roof.

Generally, though, you should be pleased with Chevy's Spark if you're looking for affordable urban-oriented transportation.



What's new for 2018

The 2018 Chevrolet Spark is unchanged.

We recommend

Thanks to its low price, the Spark undercuts its competitors by thousands of dollars when new, even in its top-spec trim. Still, there's something to be said about keeping all the bells and whistles out of your subcompact, so we'd split the difference and go for the 1LT, which adds much-needed features such as power windows and locks and cruise control.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Chevrolet Spark is available in four trim levels that differ primarily in standard feature content. The Spark LS is a well-equipped base model, and the 1LT adds more features. The 2LT has more convenience and driver assist features, while the Activ model increases ground clearance and tacks on roof rails for a more active lifestyle. All trims come with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 98 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque. The engine drives the front wheels through either a five-speed manual transmission or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

The Spark LS comes with a rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a four-speaker audio system, air conditioning, and Chevrolet's OnStar communications system that includes a 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi hotspot.

The 1LT adds 15-inch alloy wheels, power accessories (windows, mirrors and door locks), cruise control, remote keyless entry, foglights, and a six-speaker audio system.

From here, the Activ adds simulated leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, roof rails, special 15-inch wheels and bodywork, and a raised suspension that provides 0.4 inch of additional ground clearance.

Alternately, go for the 2LT. Compared to the 1LT, it adds rear parking sensors, simulated seating surfaces, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, push-button start, an upgraded driver information display, heated front seats, and chrome door handles and trim.

A sunroof is optional for the 1LT and 2LT trims. For the 2LT only, you can get a Driver Confidence package that adds forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems.



Trim tested

Edmunds has not driven any current version of the 2018 Chevrolet Spark, but we have limited experience with similar previous versions. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.

Driving

The Spark's small four-cylinder engine is best suited for around-town use. A CVT automatic-equipped Spark takes over 11 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph from a stop, so highway on-ramps require some planning. Surprisingly, the Spark is agile around town and delivers a well-mannered ride overall.

Comfort

While it's noisy, it compares favorably with other cars in the class. Seating position is upright, with minimal lateral support. The rear seats are best suited to smaller passengers.

Interior

Yes, it's small, but the layout is functional. The high roofline gives it decent room, access and visibility, too. Cargo space is tight with four aboard, but it's plentiful with the rear seat folded.

Utility

There's minimal cargo room with the rear seat in use, but fold it down and there's more than enough storage for the sorts of local errands that suit this subcompact hatchback.

Technology

The MyLink infotainment system adds to the Spark's modern vibe. The menus are intuitive, and the graphics are sharp. The touchscreen supports multi-gesture control and provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interface. The standard OnStar 4G LTE service provides advanced connectivity options.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.